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Flood insurance discount retained

July 24, 2013
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Residents of unincorporated Lee County will keep their 25 percent discount on federal flood insurance policies - a discount collectively valued at $15.2 million annually.

There are 87,355 National Flood Insurance Program policies in force in unincorporated Lee County. On most residential policies, the savings will range from $200 to $325 annually.

Savings on commercial policies can range from $500 to $1,200 annually.

"It's important for Lee County to retain this discount and pass along this savings to our residents. And, we are pleased that the $15 million saved each year by business owners and residents stays here in Southwest Florida," Cecil Pendergrass, chairman of the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, said.

County commissioners were notified July 10 that the county retained its Class 5 rating to earn the 25 percent discount in the NFIP's Community Rating System. The discount will continue for at least three years.

"This savings is a tangible result of the flood mitigation activities your community implements to protect lives and reduce property damage," David L. Miller, associate administrator of the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, in Washington, D.C., said.

Those activities include maintaining FEMA-established base flood elevations for new construction and providing community documentation, information, and enforcement of FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps.

The full 25 percent discount is available for policies in the Special Flood Hazard Area, commonly called the FEMA floodplain.

Policies outside the FEMA-designated floodplain are eligible for a 10 percent discount, and the average annual savings on those policies is $78. This discount is already reflected in current flood policy premiums.

Annual premiums for most NFIP residential policies in unincorporated Lee County range from $600 to $1,000 annually, but home policies can cost as much as $7,000. Policies on commercial properties can cost as much as $10,000 annually.

Every three years, the NFIP conducts a field visit to audit Lee County's flood-mapping records.



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